Meat Sauce

One of the best presents I’ve ever received was a series of Italian cooking classes. You know, the kind where it’s a bunch of strangers with a local chef who walks you through preparing a bunch of dishes while you’re all drinking wine. It was a blast and I still use those recipes to this day. This is based off of one of those. I didn’t make too many changes, just add a few additional ingredients and updated it for my Instant Pot. So instead of simmering for 2 or more hours, it’s ready is about 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Meat Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 28oz can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 4-5 minced garlic cloves (or more if you like garlic)
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lbs chuck beef
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (Italian is best)
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 Tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Pinch of sugar


In a heavy pot (like a Le Creuset Dutch oven) or in an Instant Pot set to sauté, heat the olive oil and brown the chuck; about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside. Add in the onion and minced garlic, sauté for about a minute or until fragrant. Add the chuck back in and the rest of the ingredients. If using a heavy pot, bring to a boil and simmer; about 2 hours or until the meat is tender and falling apart. If using an Instant pot, set the pressure cooker for 45 minutes with the valve closed.

Serve over your favorite pasta.


Beef with Rosemary-Mushroom Sauce.

This is one of the more healthy recipes that I like to make. It’s pretty tasty and I love to serve it with mashed potatoes. Enjoy!


Beef with Rosemary-Mushroom Sauce

  • sliced mushrooms, about 6 oz
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 lbs steak, I used skirt steak but any will do (about 1 inch thick)
  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 green onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 4-5 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • Salt & pepper


Combine the mushrooms, wine and steak in a Ziploc bag, seal, and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Turn it every 10 mins or so.

Heat a pan, I like to use my Le Creuset Braiser, over medium-high with the oil. Remove the steak from the Ziploc, keep the marinade, and lightly salt & pepper the steak. Cook the steak for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until the desired degree of doneness, this will depend on the thickness of the steak. Remove it from the pan and let it rest covered with aluminum foil. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the onion, rosemary, marinade, broth, and tomato sauce. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until reduced by half.

Slice the steak diagonally across the grain and toss in the sauce. Serve it with potatoes or even rice.

Shepherd’s Pie

This is a nice comfort food recipe that I like to make, especially in the winter. It’s even better because it freezes really well. You can use all sorts of meat; ground hamburger, lamb, but I prefer a good country sausage. It adds more flavor to the dish. Enjoy!

Sheppard’s Pie

  • 1 lbs ground meat
  • 1 carrot, diced (about the size of peas)
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup green beans, diced about 1/4″
  • 1 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 lbs potatoes diced and peeled
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • Paprika
  • olive oil


In a large pot, I like to use my Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven, brown the ground meat and onion.

In another large stock pot cook the potatoes in water with a Tbsp of Kosher salt until tender. Drain and mash with the milk and cheddar cheese.

Once the meat is browned add the carrot, peas, and green beans with 1 cup of the beef stock. Simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Whisk together the flour and remaining stock (I just use a jar and shake it well). Add into the meat and simmer for another 5 minutes or so, it should start to thicken.

Dish the meat into ramekins about 2/3rds full. Smooth the potatoes on top making sure to completely cover and seal the meat mixture in. Drizzle some olive oil on top and lightly sprinkle with the paprika. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Beef Stroganoff

Growing up my mom would make beef stroganoff frequently. Of course her version can out of a packet we got at the grocery store. I’ve based this recipe on several different ones, none of which use a packet. There are two ways of making this. I love using my Anova Sous Vide , so the recipe below follows that method. If you don’t have one then slice your steak raw, coat it in a little flower and briefly fry it in a couple of tbsp of oil; about 2 minutes per side. Remove it and then follow the recipe below. Enjoy!


Beef Stroganoff

  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 10 oz steak (I use New York, size is just a suggestion)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cognac
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 2 cup egg noodles


Cook the steak using your Anova Sous Vide  set to 130 degrees for an hour.

In a deep skillet or braiser, I like using my Le Creuset Casserole, melt the butter with the olive oil. On medium high saute the mushrooms until they start to soften. Add the onion and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat to high and add the cognac, cook until it’s mostly gone*. Turn the heat down to medium and add the sour cream. Stir until it softens; add the cream, beef broth, and Worcestershire. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.

In the mean time, bring a pot of water to boil with about 3 tbsp of salt. Cook the egg noodles for about 5 minutes or until soft.

Heat a skillet on high heat until hot with 1 tbsp of oil.  Brown the steak, about 2 minutes per side. Slice thinly and add to the sauce. Serve over the noodles.

*careful with the cognac as it can, and sometimes does, catch on fire. Keep the pot lid at hand. If it catches on fire put the lid on to put it out.

Beef Bourguignon

I can not for the life of me pronounce this. I guess it just goes to show there was a reason why I flunked French in highschool. Oh well, it sure does taste good. You can make this 2 ways, in a pot or in a slow cooker. I love using my Instant Pot. One thing I will point out, that I’ve learned from experience, is that for this dish the wine does make a difference. The better the wine the better the dish. DO NOT use cheap wine, no 14 Hands here! As a lot of recipes I make, the amount of ingredients can vary depending on how much you want to make. Here I mean in the beef, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and garlic. Enjoy!


Beef Bourguignon

  • 4 slices of bacon chopped
  • 1-2 lbs of beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup good red wine, French style is best
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 1/2 medium onion (or a cup of pearl onions if you like those)
  • 1 cup baby carrots (or 2 carrots cut in 1/2 inch slices)
  • 2 medium size potatoes, cut in 1 inch cubes
  • 4 ounces of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp cognac
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


In a large heavy bottomed pot, like a Le Creuset Dutch Oven, or in an Instant Pot; saute the bacon for until crisp (about 5 minutes).  In a small dish, or zip lock bag, sift the flour and add some salt and pepper. Put the beef in and toss until coated. Add the beef to the pot and saute until brown, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and deglaze the pot until the wine has reduced by about 1/2. Add the beef broth, tomato paste, soy sauce. Bring to a simmer. If the broth seems thin try whisking in some of the flour you used to coat the beef.

Take the thyme and bay leaves and tie them in a bundle, this makes it easier to remove them later. Now add the potatoes, garlic, onion, carrots, mushrooms and cognac.

If using a slow cooker set it to low for 3 hours until the potatoes are tender. For the Instant Pot you don’t really set anything but the time. If in a pot, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the potatoes are tender.

Add the butter just before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.

BBQ Meatloaf

I grew up with meatloaf, my mom made it frequently. I liked it but this recipe gives it a unique twist. The bbq sauce, with the kick of the spice, makes it a favorite in my house. I like to use a combination of ground beef and ground lamb but you can make it with just ground beef if you like it that way or can’t find lamb. If you don’t like it too spicy then I recommend you take the ancho chili powder and chipotle powder down from 1 tbsp.

OK I have, so far, posted pictures with all my recipes. I’ve made this one twice now and both times was so hungry that I dug in before remembering to take a picture. So you’re getting a less than perfect pic of what little was left after we devoured it. Sorry.


BBQ Meatloaf

  • 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 lbs ground lamb
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (I like the Italian ones)
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, plus extra for the top of the meatloaf (about 1 cup)


In a large bowl mix together the bread crumbs, chipotle, ancho, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Mix until well combined. Add in the onion, beef, lamb, egg and 1/4 cup bbq sauce. Mix until just combined. The idea here is to not over mix it as it’ll make your meatloaf dry and “tough”.

Shape it on a cookie sheet that’s been sprayed with non-stick stray. I like a “log” shape myself but you can do round, whatever. I’ve learned that this is better than putting it in a bread pan, which is how my mom would make it. If it’s in a bread pan then all the juices and grease are trapped in the pan. If it’s on a cookie sheet those evaporate or spill out so your meatloaf isn’t so loose and greasy. Pour bbq sauce over the top until it’s covered.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until it read 160 in the middle on a thermometer.